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Your Success Story Is Waiting… Graduates of our master’s program go on to medical school, law school, and graduate school, and to successful careers in a wide array of health-related fields, including health policy, health care administration, health care consulting, and the nonprofit sector. Below is a sample of just a few of the career paths of our recent graduates.

Lauren Gaither MA’22, BA’21

Fellow, Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals

Lauren, an MHS major and graduate of the MHS 4+1 master’s program, is completing her experience as a Cultural Ambassador through the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals. While in Germany, she studied Media Creation and Management at Hochschule der Medien.

As an MHS M.A. student, Lauren’s research focused on assessment of Vanderbilt’s employee wellness program, made recommendations for improvement, developed participation incentives, and optimized marketing campaigns.

Spencer Turney, MA’22

Media Relations Expert, Education Development Center

While enrolled in the MHS master’s program, Spencer also served as a Media Relations Specialist at Vanderbilt University, creating content for the School of Engineering, College of Arts and Science and the School of Medicine. He is currently employed at Education Development Center as a Media Relations Expert in public relations and strategic communications.

His graduate thesis research combined his passion for journalism with an academic interest in health communication, resulting in his thesis, “Trust in the CDC: Framing Theory, Message Mutation and the COVID-19 Vaccine.”

Manisha Mishra MA’19

Research Coordinator at NYU Langone Health

As a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, Manisha Mishra chose the MHS M.A. Program because she could tailor the program to advance her interdisciplinary training before applying to medical school. Her thesis combined methodologies from MHS coursework to examine how clinical empathy is integrated into modern clinical practice. She interviewed physicians to better understand their perspective regarding clinical empathy and the practice of compassionate care.

Manisha’s project highlighted systematic barriers and hierarchies that can exist in the doctor-patient relationship. Eventually, her research will inform her own clinical practice as she plans to pursue a career in academic medicine.

“Through this program, and especially in the core classes and working on my thesis, I have learned how to be a successful scholar and researcher.”

Lauren Taylor MA’19

Clinical Trial Manager, ICON plc

Lauren Taylor, a graduate of Clemson University, was drawn to the MHS Program because she could take courses in sociology, statistics, and public health while preparing for future graduate study in health policy. It allowed her to merge her interests in medicine and social sciences to study medicine from a unique perspective.

For her capstone project, Lauren researched the effects of exorbitantly high price of cancer drugs that cause patients to skip treatments and experience financial turmoil.

“I have gained an invaluable skill set in viewing health issues from a social perspective, as well as practical skills in statistical analysis for future research.”

Molly Moreau MA’17, BA’16

CAPP Manager at Planned Parenthood of Greater New York.

Molly Moreau was an MHS major and an M.A. program graduate through the MHS 4+1 Program. Upon graduation in August 2017, she worked as the program coordinator for the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center at Vanderbilt. She is currently a CAPP manager at Planned Parenthood of Greater New York.

Her thesis examined how the medicalization of female sexual desire disorder lends authority to and is legitimized by heteronormative, patriarchal sexual norms.

“I am constantly using the information I gained from the MHS program in my day-to-day work, particularly in my role as a sex educator. Understanding that the meanings of concepts like ‘health’ and ‘wellness’ are socially constructed and ever-changing has been crucial for creating holistic sex education programs and addressing the sex-related questions and concerns of students on this campus.”

Garrett King BA’14, MA’15, JD’18

Senior Associate at Housatonic Partners

Garrett King was an undergraduate double major in MHS and European history. He participated in the MHS 4+1 Program and earned his M.A. in 2015. He also attended Vanderbilt Law School and now works in health care investment banking at Housatonic Partners.

“Having a background in MHS, particularly health care policy, has been critical in understanding the current state of our health care industry. Specifically, it assists in understanding the economic factors within the health care industry and how health care has evolved post-ACA.”

Renee Martin-Willett MA’15

Graduate Student, University of Colorado-Boulder’s Center for Health and Neuroscience, Genes, and Environment (CUChange)

Before attending the MHS M.A. program, Renee earned her BFA in fine arts, gender studies from The University of Southern California and a post-baccalaureate certificate in biological sciences from the University of Vermont. Since 2015, she has worked in neuroscience and mental health research, first at the Vanderbilt Memory and Alzheimer’s Center in clinical Alzheimer’s research and is currently for a Ph.D. student at CUChange, a transdisciplinary psychology and neuroscience center exploring the psychological, neurocognitive, physiological, genetic, and epigenetic factors that are linked with health and risk behavior. She was also a finalist in the Gates Cambridge Foundation Competition and has published twelve first-author manuscripts.

“I am able to leverage the competencies I gained from my M.A. from MHS and certificate in global health from VIGH, and my experience as the Meharry-Vanderbilt Community Engaged Scholar for 2014-15, both at the Alzheimer’s Center and in my current role. I work to increase emphasis on underrepresented groups in research, integrate principles of community engaged research in our study programs, and support diversity and student achievement among research staff and trainees in the research programs that I help to administer.”


If you are a recent alum and would like to be featured, please contact us. We would love to hear from you!